Where did you learn how to be in a fulfilling relationship? Who taught you? Most likely you learn a little about what to do (and a lot about what not to do) from your parents and other couples in your environment. Maybe you even picked up some ideas from romance novels, TV shows and movies. Still, for a large majority of us, the lessons were not effective, sufficient or useful in most real life situations. Because of that, many people in and out of relationships suffer.
It may sound a little controversial at first, but the reason may be because they are treating the relationship as a fairytale instead of treating it like a business. In a fairytale relationship, two become one, and then they live happily ever after. In a business relationship, two become three . . . and the adventure begins.
When two become one in love
I can only speak from the western perspective, but early on, most of us were taught that when it comes to creating an “ideal” relationship, it is understood that “two must become one.” Both partners are expected to loose part of themselves in order to merge with the other. In a way, the bachelor and bachelorette parties are a final goodbye to their old selves: the part they are letting go to merge with the other.
Once it’s “official”, the couple is often seen as a unit and not individuals. The problem with that perspective is that it can suffocate either or both partners in the long term if they are not conscious of it. They can loose their individuality at the expense of their union without often really having a clear idea of what that union actually is meant to be.
In order to maintain the “fairytale relationship”, they compromise with their value, their needs, and their wants for the sake of maintaining the relationship. If they also expect the relationship or their partner to heal their personal wounds or childhood trauma, it can take its toll on the relationship. For example, feelings of insecurity and jealousy can cause a lot of stress in a relationship if it’s not addressed properly.
Consequently, if the relationship breaks down, especially in the case of a long term relationship, more often than none, one or both partners find themselves not really knowing who they are anymore. They may feel lost without the other or incomplete. To alleviate this new pain, some will try to quickly find another person to “fill in the gap”. Others will go within to figure out how to get back what they once had before the failed relationship.
The ones who decide to look within to find themselves again are who we like to call Conscious Singles. They are aware of the fact that they allowed a certain part of themselves to take a backseat in the past but feel the need to feel whole again. They are the one who, when the time is right, would benefit from treating their next relationship as they would a business.
When two become three in love
Treating your relationship as if it was a business is creating a conscious relationship. A relationship where everyone involved is aware that a successful relationship takes consistent work and effort from both sides. It also takes under consideration that the partners must be self sufficient in order to be able to provide the energy required for the relationship to thrive, not just survive.
Imagine a family business run by two partners. In order for the business to flourish, both partners need to be well enough to take care of the business.
- If one partner is neglecting their own need because the other constantly requires attention. The business will most likely fail.
- If both partner as self absorb and don’t put any energy or effort into the business the business will most likely fail.
- If both partners put all their energy and effort into the business and don’t take care of themselves, they will eventually run out of fuel and when they are too drained to take care of the business, the business will most likely fail.
A conscious relationship works in a similar manner.
- If one partner neglects their own needs because the other constantly requires attention, the relationship will most likely fail. Take for example a couple where the husband gets jealous all the time because he feels insecure. So the wife constantly has to go out of her way to make sure her husband doesn’t get jealous, to the point of not being able to express and be herself. This continuous outpouring of energy to attempt to make the other one feel secure might lead to resentment or even infidelity.
- If one or both partners are so focused on being independent that they spend most of their time in their career for example and very little time in their relationship, eventually they may feel more like roommates than life partners to the point of eventually not really knowing why they even bother to be in a relationship in the first place.
- If both partners put all their energy into their kids and little to no energy into themselves and their relationship, when the kids grow up and leave the nest, they may feel like they are living with a stranger. Some are lucky and rediscover each other. Others go their separate ways.
Being aware of what affects the life of the relationship will give you a better chance at building a healthy and thriving relationship, just like building a successful and profitable business.
To start achieving this, focusing on the three following main pillars of a conscious relationship may help :
- Detach yourself from your relationship
- Feed and nurture your relationship regularly
- Understand what the ultimate purpose of your relationship is
There is no one right way to do this. There are many different types of relationship that serve different purposes. The key is to be aware of the type or relationship we’re in (or want to be in) so that we can take the right action to increase their chances of being fulfilling.
In the next article, I will dive a little deeper into how treating your relationship like a business can help your relationship flourish.
P.S. If you’re single and are interested in discussing the various aspects of a conscious relationships with a group of conscious singles, join our weekly intimate conversations online Saturday mornings at slovve-jan2021.eventbrite.com